I was sleepy. The first day of building was noon to six and not so bad. The second day was nine in the morning to six in the afternoon and it was a lot of movement. By the third day I was burned out. I slept in Amanda’s van the whole ride downtown and more or less stumbled my way through the security checkpoint to the tunnel.
Overall, the day wasn’t hard. And when we got there some rumors were already circulating that we’d be out early as the work we did the day before was the bulk of things and today would just be finishing touches and stuff of that nature. Honestly I didn’t have much to do. The bulk of the remaining work was left to people who had an attention to detail or knew how to set up projectors and where the important props went.
I wanted something to do because I didn’t want to be the guy not doing anything. But I tried to dictate what that was myself so it wouldn’t involve ladders or be too physically demanding. After two days of climbing ladders I was well and sick of them.
Eventually I got caught not doing anything meaningful by someone who needed something done and I got thrown into the group hanging signs and other important clues that would line the dungeon walls. Our instructions were “hang them at eye level” at which point I scanned the group I was in and noticed that we were all different heights and “eye level” meant different things to each of us. This issue was compounded when it was revealed to us that the other teams doing the same thing were given the same instructions, and naturally, were not all the same height either.
It was easy at this point in the set-up to take an approach like “It’s not my problem, and if it becomes an issue someone smarter than me will sort it out.” And given that I’ve worked in these environments several times before, I should have known that’s a horrible idea. Because when something gets screwed up, the “person who’s smarter than me” is just going to find me and make me fix it anyway. So our second tour through the dungeon was spent following a team who was hanging the signs at the incorrect height and adjusting them ourselves. Eventually we caught up and both had the “we’re doing what they told us” words that you end up having when doing those types of things.
The part that stuck with me during the whole “eye level” debacle was the part where someone kept telling us that someone would run through the dungeons towards the end and make sure everything was as it should be and if the signs were off, this “final inspection” group would make it right. Since I am who I am, it seemed like a perfectly wasted couple of hours since all our changes would be undone later anyway. (I don’t actually think this happened though, I think the group who checked after our walkthrough was content with the heights. So it all worked out despite my cynicism.)
We were nearing two-o’clock when it became obvious that the bulk of Local Install wouldn’t be necessary for much longer. I quickly shifted gears from “worn and tired” to “oh wait this is my last chance to admire what we’ve done.” I split from the group and walked through the dungeon taking pictures of all the interesting looking props using the camera on my phone and just trying to take in the environment and feel of things we’ve built over the last few days and there was a real sense of pride the first time I saw Priscilla move. I had nothing to do with Priscilla naturally, but seeing her in the environment and surrounded by the rock walls and maze that we built was pretty cool.
<Again, I’m working on pictures. I could upload my horrible quality phone camera pictures, but I’m hoping to get better ones soon.>
The day was over and GenCon officially started tomorrow. It was time to collect my badge, shirt, waterbottle, flashlight, and True Dungeon button in the handy gift bag. However, due to my Day 1 mistake of not having confirmed my schedule, they didn’t have my badge printed. I got the shirt and stuff and got the coordinators number to stay in contact with her later, and overall I wasn’t worried about it. I generally don’t stress out over things like that, and she promised she’d handle the badge so I trusted her. It’s not like she’s the one who screwed the whole thing up anyway, this was all my fault. Everything would work out.
Or so I thought until I got the message “We can’t print your badge because it’s already been reserved by Zombie Orpheus?” That message itself was not that bad, I’d just have to check the Dead Gentlemen e-mails and see where my badge was. Still, no big deal. Worst case scenario I’d probably just have to pick it up in the morning. So I flip through the old messages only to learn that the date for picking up badges reserved by Dead Gentlemen was two days earlier and I totally missed it…
This was my last day for True Dungeon until Day 7 when I came back for the tear down. If you liked the story, or you think it sounds cool to be a part of it (it is) then check them out here and see about volunteering next year. It’s a free GenCon badge and you get to work with some of the coolest toys.
If you liked the story and want to support Archfossil in the future, the best way to do that is through the patreon here. I’ll always appreciate it and you’ll see RPG a Month entries before anyone else does. So there’s something in it for everyone.